MUSKEGON, MI-The site of the former Muskegon Mall will be redeveloped at an overall cost of $11.6 million, city officials say. Much of the cost to revamp the Downtown mall will go to relaying a street system that was tiled and roofed over under a federal urban renewal project in the early 1970s.

But that re-establishment will also be joined with new electric, gas, phone and cable service upgrades. Aesthetically, project leaders also envision 50 new streetlights, snow-melting sidewalk, fountains and sculptures, new landscaping and an outdoor ice skating rink.

Local officials expect the new streets and utilities have to be in place before they see serious purchase offers for the newly subdivided area known for decades as the Central Business District. Muskegon city officials and the property owners will be working on designing the basic streets and utilities this winter, with construction expected to begin in the spring. All of the public improvements on the mall site are contingent on securing government funding.

To that end, the city is expected to furnish $1 million under the plan. It contributed $450,000 to buy parking areas after mall owner Rick Perlman was foreclosed on in fall 2002 by the Downtown Muskegon Development Corp., the current owners of the former mall site. The city also will contribute $150,000 toward design and engineering work, which will come from an Enterprise Community grant.

The project will also see $3.4 million in federal money funneled through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s newly created “Grow Michigan” public works project, aimed at helping cities rejuvenate downtowns. Another $3 million is expected to come through the US Department of Transportation, with the Michigan Department of Transportation adding $1 million more.

Wendy Ohst, manager of the county’s department of employment and training and facilities management, says the county has also filed a notice of intent to use $3.35 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to help develop the site with new roads and utilities. “It would help solidify that project and really move it forward,” she says.

The downtown development group estimates that, ultimately, the 17 acres of developable land will generate construction spending totaling $60 million. To further encourage development, the city has also designated the mall property as a Renaissance Zone, exempting property owners from virtually all state and local property taxes. People who choose to reside in the zone–which includes residential development in the proposal–don’t have to pay property taxes, and are exempt from state and local income taxes, whether they own or rent.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.